Today Your Legal Corner will share “Two important tips when faced with aggressive drivers.”
Some days are just absolutely beautiful, with just the right temperature and sunny blue skies. Last week, was just one of those beautiful days…except… if you happened to be driving and came into contact with an aggressive driver.
When confronted with an aggressive driver, what matters most is that you (1) Respond to this aggressive behavior appropriately and (2) Report his or her reckless behavior safely. Knowing how to combat an aggressive driver saves lives.
1. Respond to aggressive drivers appropriately
If you have experienced aggressive driving…you know exactly what I mean. The situation that often has caught me off guard is when I am waiting at a stop sign or turning left at a stop light when the car behind me decides I had enough time to proceed or turn so they either have honked their horn or proceed around me. It takes practice to be prepared for this type of confrontation and respond appropriately. The appropriate response is to take a deep breath and avoid contact.
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission suggests when confronted with an aggressive driver:
- Get out of the way and let them pass.
- Do not take their misbehavior personally or try to teach them a lesson.
- Lastly, if you are followed, drive to a safe place like a police station.
2. Report aggressive drivers safely
Aggressive driving behaviors are not limited to New Jersey. In fact, based on reports of aggressive driving incidents, it could very well be an epidemic on our nations roads, especially when the weather warms.
As you may have noticed, with the warmer months aggressive driving characteristics on the road include speeding, excessive lane changes, tailgating and gesturing to other drivers to name a few. To see if you meet the characteristics of an aggressive driver, take the quiz at www.njsaferoads.com.
The most important way to address aggressive drivers is to report them. Currently, there are two reporting systems, 911 and #77. 911 is dialed for life threatening emergencies. Life threatening emergencies include accidents, disabled vehicles and incidents, which require immediate police assistance.
#77 is the aggressive driver system. Call this number, tell them what road you are on and a police officer in the area will be notified. When you see erratic or unsafe driving that may pose a risk to others, call #77.
To report using either system, pull off to the side of the road or other safe location. Report all information as requested to the dispatcher on the phone.
Should you become involved in an automobile accident, always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to know for sure your legal situation. Remember when confronted with an aggressive driver-respond appropriately and report safely!
Till next time, God bless, keep smiling, when Your Legal Corner will discuss “Steps in a personal injury case.”
Victoria M. Dalton is an attorney with the law firm of Hoffman DiMuzio.
For questions, contact Victoria at [email protected].
Please note that Your Legal Corner was created to provide educational articles about the law and is not legal advice.